Before I start here is a question I would like you all to try as an experiment:
“Instruct a small baby not to do or touch” – Record the reaction
“Instruct a teenager not do an activity” – See the reaction
“Instruct an adult to something” – Watch the courtesy but see the action
Well the answer would be quite probable the baby will not obey or cry, the teenager may reply nastily and the adult may not refuse as being courteous still it will not happen.
Well this exactly what happens with a team, give an instruction and see it being not done or you may require multiple follow ups to get it done. They may do it ultimately as you are the boss.
So how do we get better outcomes from a team and ultimately get the work done faster?
The answer lies in leading them to the answer making them feel that they are the one who found the solution and see them full of energy to get the objective met. Some of you may say its not as simple as it seems!!!
Very true its not so simple and it needs lot of patience from the bosses who get tempted to give a solution immediately and get the work done. But, what happens when you give a solution to the team?
- You will increase dependency of the team on you – So they will start coming for each and every trivial problem. Remember reading a difficult subject as a kid. We use to run to our parents for each and every problem without even trying
- The work will become mundane and monotonous. Adrenalin increases when we feel we have done something we could not do ourselves. Does it remind you the first time you rode a bicycle on your own.
- Multiple follows would be required as the activity will become your initiative rather than the team’s.
So how do we get the team to look for solutions on their own and figure out the right answer by themselves.
Well the answer lies in questioning the right way. This will lead them to thinking around the problem and figuring out the solution. The question is a change from Why to What.
So simple it cant be is what I also felt when suggested the first time. So let us try and try to look at the difference from the below two questions:
“Why is you team not a successful?”
- Does it not look negative
- Does this question make you defensive
- Is the question not saying that you are not leading the team to success
- While you may not mean it your team will feel that way. Boss ultimately are known for their criticism and sarcasm
“What do you think you could do to make your team successful?”
- Does is look more as a positive question
- Does it make you look for solutions
- Does it make feel that you are being supported to find a solution
- Does it feel that your boss is supportive
Well friends I leaving you keep thinking around it. These set of questions will definitely help you succeed with your team. You will definitely require patience and it may take a few months for the team to fall in place. But it will definitely worth it!!!